Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias has been diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer.
In a Facebook post on Thursday, Zacharias said doctors discovered a cancerous tumor of the sacrum, a cancer called sarcoma. The cancer diagnosis comes just three weeks after he underwent back surgery, after which he was in pain so severe that he could not sleep. The pain, however, was not a result of the surgery but the tumor, he learned.
The sacrum is a shield-shaped bony structure located at the base of the lumbar vertebrae and is connected to the pelvis.
"In the past few days, we have been meeting with specialists to determine the next course of action. They will wait until I am fully healed from the back surgery, and in 4-5 weeks, will begin treatment to shrink the tumor. I will not plan to resume speaking at least until the summer," he wrote.
"We are trusting the Lord in this, and we believe we have already seen evidence of His hand. For example, the tumor did not show up on any previous scans and was only discovered by my surgeon identifying it during surgery," Zacharias continued.
"We received literally thousands of messages from people all over the world saying you were praying. I have every belief God directed and prompted my surgeon to his discovery of this tumor. Margie and I and our family are so grateful for your continued prayers for the journey that lies ahead.
"We are trusting the Lord for His purpose. Please do also pray that God will take away this horrific night pain, which is the most difficult part of waiting."
Team members of Zacharias' ministry are stepping in to fill in while he recovers.
Known for his robust defenses of Christianity, Zacharias, 73, is regarded as among the most esteemed apologists for the faith today.
In late 2017, Zacharias was mired in two controversies after allegations emerged that he had been involved in an inappropriate online relationship with a woman who was not his wife, and that he misrepresented his academic credentials.
Zacharias has maintained that he did nothing wrong even after an email surfaced where he appeared to respond with an apparent threat to kill himself in an exchange with the woman, writing: "If you betray me here, I will have no option but to bid this world goodbye, I promise."
In response to the question of his credentials, RZIM stated at the time that they never knowingly misrepresented his accomplishments and that when something inaccurate was brought to their attention regarding his background they made every effort to correct it.